Will Ferrell Turned Down Elf Sequel Because He Didn’t Like Director

by : Emily Brown on :
Will Ferrell Turned Down Elf Sequel Because He Didn't Like DirectorNew Line Cinema

There’s probably a large majority of the Earth’s population who would kill to see Will Ferrell back in his role as Buddy the Elf, but tensions between the actor and director Jon Favreau mean it will probably never happen. 

Seventeen years after its release, Elf remains one of the best-loved Christmas films of all time. Buddy’s excitement about Santa and his love for Christmas in general never fails to get people in the holiday spirit, so it’s understandable that fans have demanded to see more of Buddy in the years since the film’s release.


The 2003 comedy was directed by Jon Favreau, who is also known for producing films such as Iron Man for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and starring as Monica’s mixed martial arts obsessed boyfriend Pete in Friends.

ElfNew Line Cinema

Though Elf is undoubtedly a masterpiece, it seems things weren’t always as jolly behind the camera as they were on screen. During a recent interview with 92.3 Sports Radio, per MovieWeb, actor James Caan revealed that ‘the director and Will didn’t get along very well.’

Caan, who played Buddy’s dad Walter in the film, discussed the possibility of a sequel and admitted that he believed he’d ‘finally got a franchise movie’ that would allow him to ‘make some money’ and let his kids ‘do what the hell they want to do’.

James Caan and Will Ferrell in ElfNew Line Cinema

However, due to tensions between Favreau and Ferrell, the actor had in his contract that he didn’t want to work on a sequel that had Favreau as director.

Caan commented:

Will wanted to do it, he didn’t want the director… it was one of those things.

Jon FavreauPA Images
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The possibility of an Elf sequel is one that has been teased a couple of times over the years, with rumours of Favreau being involved with Elf 2: Buddy Saves Christmas 10 years after the release of the original film and the director raising the topic again a few years ago.

Ferrell and Favreau have not publicly discussed their relationship behind-the-scenes, and neither has commented on Caan’s recent revelations, but for whatever reason Ferrell has remained firm on his decision not to bring back Buddy.

Will FerrellPA Images

The actor even turned down a whopping $29 million for a sequel, and told The Guardian that while the huge chunk of money seems like a lot ‘for a guy to wear tights’, he ‘never liked’ the idea of a sequel.

Ferrell has reportedly claimed he doesn’t like sequels in general, though he has been part of a few in the past including Anchorman 2 and Zoolander 2. 

It would probably take a Christmas miracle for an Elf sequel to happen, but that doesn’t mean fans can’t hold out hope!

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Christmas, Elf, sequel, Will Ferrell


MovieWeb and 1 other
  1. MovieWeb

    The Real Reason Elf 2 Will Never Happen According to James Caan

  2. The Guardian

    The $29 million man